The Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at Shakespeare’s Globe is best known for performing the work of Shakespeare and his contemporaries, but under the new regime of Emma Rice, the last play she directed with her old company Kneehigh has been brought in. Actually, the Playhouse is the perfect space for the quirky tale of artist Marc Chagall and his wife Bella, written by Daniel Jamieson and originally produced back in the 1990s.
The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk tells the story of how the two met, fell in love and fled war-torn Russia and Nazi-ridden Europe to settle in the US and make art. Music and movement work perfectly in the intimate space of the Sam Wanamaker and help to draw the audience in. The style could easily have been twee but instead the dreamlike storytelling gives the work a fairytale quality. Strong performances by Marc Antolin and Audrey Brisson ensure that the piece, about art and the power of love to survive all the odds, is a memorable one.